Why start a new business blog?
It’s 2017. It’s a new year and for many, a new start. Having just recently co-founded a new business, I’m hoping 2017 is going to be a year of many successful new beginnings and relationships.
It is with this in mind I decided to start our new company blog.
The questions about small business blogging I was grappling with, with which I’m sure many small business owners do, were many.
Why write a blog at all?
Is it worth the time and effort?
While I can and do appreciate the potential value of small business blogging, what can I say that would be of interest to others? It’s not like I am at the cutting edge of research, that I can dazzle the world or my industry with the introduction of something new or innovative. In all likelihood and honesty, I’d probably be rehashing and repeating what is already known and widely available.
What thing of value do I have to offer and add to the conversation?
The value of small business blogging
To begin with, let’s discuss the importance of blogging for businesses in general and then small business blogging specifically.
Some relevant statistics:
Hubspot’s free e-book – An Introduction to Business Blogging, has concluded in their studies that nearly 40% of US companies use blogs for marketing purposes.
Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors. B2C (business to consumer) companies that blog get 88% more leads per month than those who don’t. B2B (business to business) companies that blog get 67% more leads per month than those who don’t.
The facts speak for themselves. The marketing data demonstrates that blogging is a critical piece of the inbound methodology and directly leads to better business results.
One of my favorite examples of how small business blogging totally revolutionized a small business’s bottom line is the story of River Pools and Spas.
In his Sales Lion blog, Marcus Sheridan writes his story. He went from just simply being a “pool guy” with a failing business to becoming the number one pool company in the United States that specializes in fiberglass pools.
Scared he and his partners would lose everything they’d worked so hard for over the previous eight years while in business, he improved their company all with the power of blogging. (To learn the ten blogging tactics they used to become #1, read this post!)
To quote Marcus –
It was during this time we shifted our thoughts to digital marketing, deciding to answer every question we’d ever been asked by a prospect on our website, one article at a time.
Today, I call this philosophy “They Ask, You Answer” and it’s literally at the core of every client The Sales Lion has – a mentality of “Listen, Communicate, Teach, and Help” at a level that exceeds consumer expectations and earns incredible trust in the process.
This philosophy catapulted www.riverpoolsandspas.com to become the #1 trafficked swimming pool website in the world…”
He was so successful at inbound marketing that he went on to create The Sales Lion – and Inbound Marketing Agency.
He would go on to tell/teach the River Pools story, and many others just like it from his clients to audiences around the globe.
His sincere hope is that they would realize their vision of the possibilities of the internet – and small business blogging – if they would just embrace what consumers want and give it to them.
Quite an inspirational story right! It is the quintessential blogging/inbound content marketing anecdote. The stuff of legends!
What kind of value do I have to add to the mix?
Now we see the potential benefits a good blog can have; the question becomes – do I have something of value to share? What if no one reads it or finds it interesting? If what I’m saying doesn’t add value to the conversation, then why should I publish it in the first place?
How do I quantify value? Once again Marcus discusses this in his blog post – ‘The Big Problem with the Phrase “Add Value” in Content Marketing.”
To summarize it basically, he says
– if writing this blog helps you the business owner crystalize & clarify in your mind how to better communicate your service, product, or company, didn’t the act of writing the post add value?
– If after writing many blog post articles, you then can easily convert them into an effective training manual for your sales team, or the basis of a seminar series – isn’t that worthwhile?
– Even if your post never gets a single “like” or “tweet” or “share” in social media but manages to help one person solve a problem they were having, doesn’t that add value?
Small Business Blogging – We All Have Value To Share
I would add the following. The fact is, as human beings in general and individually as small business owners, we are all unique in one shape or form or another. Our life experiences are all different, and they are what differentiates us from our peers and often the competition.
The fact is we all have some expertise or life experience that gives us wisdom from which others can benefit. In turn, we can use the opportunity to gain the wisdom of others by learning from their experience, knowledge, and understanding.
If you are a local plumber, contractor, or HVAC company, you have specific knowledge and expertise not only for your craft but how the seasons can potentially affect your clients’ homes and properties. Blog about it!
If you have a local restaurant, you know what locally grown ingredients are available by which local farms. Updating your menus using these locally sourced ingredients and telling your neighbors about it on your blog, will encourage the local clientele to frequent your establishment more!
The Jewish sage Ben Zoma in the Talmud – Avot 4:1 famously said “Who is wise? The one who learns from every person …”
Leonard Nimoy is quoted as saying ” The more we share, the more we have.”
Margaret Fuller said, “If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.”
My friends – let us be wise by sharing with and growing and benefiting from one another. Let us have more by sharing more! Let us spread the light of our knowledge by sharing what we know.
I for one hope that this blog will be my tool to share whatever I have learned about digital marketing, small business development, the Inbound Methodology, website marketing, and anything else of value I draw lessons from which we can all benefit.
Social media success is all about sharing value with others.
Just remember- we are all unique and have something of value to contribute to the conversation – we just don’t always take the time to realize it.
Let’s resolve to make 2017 the year we share our wisdom with one another. Who knows? We may improve one life this year – even if it’s only our own!
Your thoughts and comments are appreciated! Let’s get this conversation flowing!